Cinema plan, new car parking and waterfront gateway among schemes to benefit from £10m funding pot
Suffolk is one of 10 areas running a pilot scheme for the year which allows councils to retain 100% of the business rates it collects and invest it into the county.
Currently councils retain 50% of business rates to invest in their areas while the other half goes to central government.
It means that Suffolk is expecting to collect a further £10.4m it can invest into the county, with local authority leaders on Friday announcing the 29 projects where it plans to spend the money.
West Suffolk is set to get £2.6m, East Suffolk £3.5m, Ipswich £2m and Babergh and Mid Suffolk £2.2m.
Among some of the headline schemes are £1m eyed for unlocking the Waterfront Gateway in Ipswich – the area between DanceEast and Cardinal Park, developments at several leisure centres, a £500,000 development in Sudbury featuring a cinema and hotels and £800,000 on drainage and car parking in Woodbridge.
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Russell Williams, Ipswich Borough Council chief executive said: “If we do this for one year it will be good but the challenge is to get the commitment from government going forward.
“We are talking in the region of £10m more for Suffolk to get to choose where it is spent going forward. That’s brilliant for one year, it would be great to get that every year going forward.”
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Leaders at Friday’s Suffolk Public Sector Leaders meeting said it was important to be able to demonstrate to central government that the investment promoted growth, with the aim of being able to continue retaining more business rates.
It is understood once the pilot has finished the government will consider allowing councils to retain 75% rather than 100%, which will still be worth around £7.5m in Suffolk.
The final proposals are being put together over the next six weeks, before being implemented from September onwards.
The initial stages of monitoring how successful the scheme is will get underway in January.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council leader John Griffiths added: “People who live locally know best what the particular challenges are, and working with parishes, villages we can actively deliver what’s needed in this part of the world.”
The full list
•£500,000-£700,000 - Waterfront Gateway
•£500,000 - Enhanced public areas such as the Cornhill, Arras Square
•£300,000 - Addressing Ipswich housing pressures, including homelessness provision and for adults with learning disabilities
•£200,000 - The Hold
•£500,000-£700,000 - Brandon Health and Leisure Centre
•£500,000-£700,000 - Development of sports hall in Newmarket
•£250,000 - Supporting highways and infrastructure schemes
•£200,000 - Supporting Western Way development
•£500,000 - Expanding social prescribing
•£TBA - Deliver town centre masterplans for Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill
Babergh and Mid Suffolk
•£500,000 - Sudbury town centre development
•£200,000 - Angel Court housing development
•£200,000 - investing in the Delphi site as a business centre
•£40,000 - SMART Grid energy project for the former Sugar Beet site
•£240,000 - Revamp of the Stowmarket Natwest building
•£300,000 - Develop Needham Lake visitor centre
•£200,000 - Develop a tech hub in Stowmarket
•£150,000 - Support the Stowmarket Foyer redevelopment
•£50,000 - Develop a youth support sceheme in Stowmarket with The Mix
•£200,000 - Develop a Future Fibre network in Lowestoft
•£100,000 - First Light Festival in Lowestoft
•£500,000 - Developing supported housing in Cleveland Road for autistic people to live independently
•£200,000 - Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone project
•£100,000 - Tourism development in Aldeburgh/Slaughden
•£300,000 - Felixstowe Seafront south development
•£200,000 - Felixstowe Seafront Leisure Centre development
•£200,000 - Leiston Leisure Centre development
•£100,000 - Rendlesham Village Centre
•£800,000 - Car parking and drainage in Woodbridge